The Best Day Hikes Around Tokyo

The best day hikes around Tokyo

Hiking Trails on Tokyo’s Doorstep

Given Japan’s mountainous terrain it should come as no surprise that Tokyo’s fringes boast many great hikes. So with that said, it’s time to dust off the hiking gear, grab some friends and hit the trails. The following hikes around Tokyo provide the chance to get back to nature while relishing in some breathtaking scenery along the way. Along with the popular Mount Takao which attracts upwards of 2.5 million visitors a year; included are a couple of lesser known hikes guaranteed to provide some time for quiet reflection.

A comprehensive guide to mountains in the Kanto Region can be found here.

Mount Takao to Mount Jinba

Tokyo hikes Mt. Takao

A list of hikes around Tokyo wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the paved roads, chairlift and cable car ferrying day trippers up to Mt. Takao. Thankfully the mountain also includes the slightly less used Inariyama Trail which takes around 90 minutes to reach the top. After side-stepping the restaurants and refreshment stands those eager to lose the crowds have the option of traversing across to Mt. Kobotoke-Shiroyama and onto Mt. Jinba, though plan on making an early start if you intend on walking the full 18 km course.

Duration: 6 hours
Distance: 18 km
Difficulty: moderate
Usage/Traffic: heavy >> moderate
Start: Takaosanguchi Station (Keio Takao line)
Finish: Jinba Kougen Shita Bus Stop
Map: Yama-to-Kogen 山と高原地図 series 1:50000 [No.27 Takao & Jinba 高尾・陣馬]

Mount Hinodeyama

Tokyo hikes Mt. Hinodeyama

Situated only a short 40 minute walk from Mt. Mitake, Mt. Hinodeyama the ‘sunrise mountain’ provides a nice hide away from the foot traffic generated by the cable car. The views from the summit stretch wide across the Kanto plain and on clear days you may even catch a glimpse of the Tokyo Skytree! It’s worth noting on May 8, Mt. Mitake pays witness to Hinode Matsuri (Sunrise Festival) where a procession of omikoshi (portable Shinto shrines) and folk decked out in full samurai regalia can be seen at the Mitake Shrine and around the Oshi Village.

Duration: 2.5 hours
Distance: 7 km
Difficulty: easy
Usage/Traffic: moderate
Start: Mitake Station (JR Ome Line)
Finish: Mitake Station (JR Ome Line)
Map: Yama-to-Kogen 山と高原地図 series 1:50000 [No.23 Oku-tama 奥多摩]

Mount Ougiyama

Tokyo hikes Mt. Ougiyama

This somewhat underrated hike includes a couple mountain tops to take in the splendour of Mt. Fuji. The walk begins from Torisawa Station where you follow a paved road before zigzagging up a rather steep track to a trail junction before making a final 10 minute detour to the summit of Mt. Ougiyama. After taking in the beautiful vistas head back to the trail junction and continue across to Mt. Momokurasan which doubles as an excellent spot to take in a leisurely lunch. Options from here include heading down to Saruhashi Station or continuing onwards to Otsuki Station a 2 hour hike away.

Duration: 6 hours
Distance: 13.5 km
Difficulty: moderate
Usage/Traffic: light
Start: Torisawa Station (JR Chuo Main Line)
Finish: Saruhashi Station (JR Chuo Main Line)
Map: Yama-to-Kogen 山と高原地図 series 1:50000 [No.27 Takao & Jinba 高尾・陣馬]

Mount Mito

Tokyo hikes Mt. Mito

This family friendly hike contains one of the three famous mountains of Okutama, Mt. Mito and is a picturesque spot to enjoy fine spring weather. The easiest approach is by taking a bus from Musashi Itsukaichi Station for the hour long trip stopping just downhill of the Tokyo Citizen’s Forest museum which is the entry point for most day trippers. The loop hike around Mt. Mito takes around three and a half hours and passes by the high 33 metre Mito no Otaki Fall accessible via a suspension bridge. The summit while hemmed in by vegetation is a great place to pull out the picnic rug and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Duration: 5 hours
Distance: 8 km
Difficulty: easy-moderate
Usage/Traffic: light
Start: Musashi Itsukaichi Station (JR Itsukaichi Line)
Finish: Musashi Itsukaichi Station (JR Itsukaichi Line)
Map: Yama-to-Kogen 山と高原地図 series 1:50000 [No.23 Oku-tama 奥多摩]

Mount Iwatakeishiyama

Tokyo hikes Mt. Iwatakeishiyama

Given its proximity to Tokyo the hike up Mt. Iwatakeishiyama via Mt. Sogakusan remains popular with Tokyoites. Starting from Mitake Station the hike commences on the north side of the JR Ome line where the trail steadily climbs up to Mt. Sogakusan and the Aojinja Shrine. From here there are a couple of tricky up and down sections before arriving at the summit of Mt. Iwatakeishiyama. After taking in some views out to Mt. Asama in Nagano Prefecture continue across to Mt. Takamizusan and its namesake temple. The last section of the hike is particularly scenic as you follow the stream back towards Ikusabata Station.

Duration: 4.5 hours
Distance: 10.5 km
Difficulty: easy-moderate
Usage/Traffic: medium
Start: Mitake Station (JR Ome Line)
Finish: Ikusabata Station (JR Ome Line)
Map: Yama-to-Kogen 山と高原地図 series 1:50000 [No.23 Oku-tama 奥多摩]

Mount Oyama

Tokyo hikes Mt. Oyama

Mt. Oyama traces its roots back more than 2000 years ago when the original Oyama Afuri Jinja Shrine was founded. Getting to Isehara Station the gateway to the mountain is only a one hour train ride from Shinjuku and after a short bus ride the options include walking the men’s or women’s trail or riding the Oyama Cable Car up to the shrine. The hike though not difficult includes walking an elevation gain of some 900 metres though the rewards are significant with terrific views towards Yokohama and even Oshima Island.

Duration: 4 hours
Distance: 7.5 km
Difficulty: easy-moderate
Usage/Traffic: heavy
Start: Oyama Cable Car Bus Stop
Finish: Oyama Cable Car Bus Stop
Map: Yama-to-Kogen 山と高原地図 series 1:50000 [No.28 Tanzawa 丹沢]


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